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Filipino Culture: Legends and Mythical Creatures

As small as a country the Philippines is, Filipino culture is full of many legends, folktales, and quite a lot of mythical creatures.

Filipino people care much about faith. That being said, Filipino families have passed on generation to generation many folktales and legends as well as mythical creatures that are surely interesting.

There are many Filipino traditions that are based on these stories as well. Therefore, if you want to know Filipino culture, I suggest you learn about the different legend and mythical creatures that Filipino people have.

Malakas and Maganda

The most famous legend of Filipino culture is the legend of Malakas and Maganda (which means Strong and Beautiful respectively). This is the legend told by Filipino people that resemble the creation of man (in the Philippines). The story is about the God of Sky and the Goddess of the Sea always fighting. But the God of Air reconciled them. They, later on, they fell in love and produced seed. This seed grew to be a bamboo tree. When a bird pecked on this special bamboo tree, it cracked open and released a man and a woman who were named Malakas and Maganda. They procreated and procreated and the Filipino people are born.

Filipino people are believers. They believe in many Filipino traditions as well as in mythical creatures. There are creatures that have never before been heard in the western world. Sometimes, they have resemblances but some of the Filipino people have made clear that there are sightings of these said mythical creatures.

Let’s get to know them.

The Aswang

The Aswang is the most famous mythical creature in Filipino culture. The Aswang is always a woman. They are some sort of bad witches that are known to terrorize lands bringing sickness and misfortune. Aswang is the creature that most Filipino families use to scare their children. They say that the Aswang gets little children who don’t obey their parents.

The Manananggal

The Manananggal is like Aswangs too, but they are the ones that fly. Yes, they fly. They are women as well. These are the mythical creatures of Filipino culture that are known to hunt pregnant women. During the daytime, they are said to be normal Filipino people. But when the night comes, the body of these women get split in half, leaving their bottom part wherever they desire.

The top part of their bodies grow wings and they find their victims by flying. Then, when they have spotted their victims, they go to the roof, and with their long tongue, they target the belly of the pregnant women and eat their child.

Scary, huh?

But don’t worry as Filipino people know how to defeat the Manananggal. To kill this creature, Filipino culture states that you should find the lower half of the body and bombard it with salt.

Yup, it’s easy to defeat it – as long as you find where the body is.

The Kapre

The Kapre is a hairy giant man that lives in trees. Unlike the Aswang and the Manananggal, Kapre does not harm people. They are, however, known to play pranks on people. Many Filipino people say that what’s scary about the Kapre is their looks.

The Sirena

The Sirena is a mythical creature known all over the world – it is a mermaid. The Sirena, however, is told to abduct fishermen by their song. Just like any other mermaid, the Sirena has a body of
a human and the tail of a fish. Again, Sirenas are women. It is said in the Filipino culture that they victimize only men.

Everywhere you go, you will get to hear legends and get to know mythical creatures. Filipino culture is rich in these two. The Philippine Islands are so far apart from each other that they are known to have different Filipino traditions, legends, and mythical creatures to believe in. If you will notice, the mythical creatures are always of a scary nature. Well, the Filipino families, over centuries, have found a way to defeat them. So don’t worry. If you are in the Philippines and you come across some of these mythical creatures, just visit Filipino families and your problem will be solved.

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